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Theater Up Close: Putting Audiences In The Middle Of The Action

April 20, 2023

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is proud to announce its lineup for the 2023-2024 THEATER UP CLOSE Season, created in collaboration with Zoetic Stage and City Theatre. This Season’s Theater Up Close Series returns with five extraordinary productions that put audiences in the middle of the action, including two world premieres and two regional premieres that reflect some of Miami’s diverse cultures.

“The 2023-2024 Season Of Theater Up Close promises to engage audiences with thought-provoking pieces of theater that are sure to resonate with the South Florida community by telling nuanced, thoughtful stories that are poignant and relevant,” said Liz Wallace, Vice President Of Programming for The Arsht Center. “We’re proud to continue our partnership with Zoetic Stage and City Theatre as they bring these important stories to the forefront.”

“Zoetic Stage celebrates its 14th Season with a curated collection of programming filled with thoughtfully crafted storytelling, laughter, provocative themes, two world-premiere plays and a timely reimagined classic musical. This Season, I hope to celebrate friendship and family (in all of its forms) with a reminder that at the end of the day, it's our shared experiences that make life worth living,” said Zoetic Stage Artistic Director Stuart Meltzer. “As always, we are thrilled to continue our arts partnership with The Arsht Center and anchor The Theatre Up-Close Series.”

City Theatre’s Artistic Director Margaret M. Ledford said, “As Artistic Director, I am honored to present the Miami premiere of ‘La Gringa,’ an enduring and resonant classic from distinguished Playwright Carmen Rivera. Through the lens of a New York born woman with Puerto Rican roots, we experience the universal journey of identity and belonging. It is a funny, affirming story with family at its heart."

Five-Show Subscription Packages are available now starting at the Early Bird Rate of $195* until Monday, May 15th, 2023. Starting Tuesday, May 16th, 2023, Packages start at $220. Subscriptions can be purchased now through The Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling: (305) 949-6722. Or online at: Tickets for individual performances will be announced at a later date.

The lineup for the 2023-2024 THEATER UP CLOSE Series includes the following:

Zoetic Stage and Adrienne Arsht Center present CLYDE’S – Regional Premiere, by Lynn Nottage and Directed by Stuart Meltzer, Thursday, November 2nd, 2023 - Sunday, November 19th, 2023.

“Fast-paced and uproariously funny, ‘Clyde’s’ is a spicy feast for the senses.” – Chicago Sun-Times

In CLYDE’S, a truck-stop sandwich shop offers its formerly incarcerated kitchen staff a shot at redemption. Even as the shop’s callous owner tries to keep them down, the staff members learn to reclaim their lives, find purpose and become inspired to dream by their shared quest to create the perfect sandwich.

CLYDE’S was written by Two-Time Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Lynn Nottage (Mlima’s Tale, MJ The Musical). She is the first and remains the only woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice.

City Theatre and Adrienne Arsht Center Present, LA GRINGA – Miami Premiere, by Carmen Rivera, Thursday, November 30th, 2023 - Sunday, December 17th, 2023.

"90 minutes of laughter” - The New York Times

Winner of the Obie Award, Off-Broadway’s highest honor, Carmen Rivera's LA GRINGA is a poignant comedy about a young woman’s search for identity. Maria Elena Garcia visits her family in Puerto Rico during the Christmas holidays and plans to connect with her homeland. Although this is her first trip to Puerto Rico, she has an intense love for the island. She even majored in Puerto Rican studies in college. Once Maria is in Puerto Rico, she realizes that Puerto Rico does not welcome her with open arms. The majority of Puerto Ricans on the island consider her an American — a gringa — and Maria considers this a betrayal. If she’s a Puerto Rican in the United States and an American in Puerto Rico, Maria concludes that she is nobody everywhere. Her uncle, Manolo, teaches her that identity isn’t based on superficial and external definitions, but is an essence she has had all along in her heart.

City Theatre's production of LA GRINGA, currently the longest-running Spanish-Language production Off-Broadway, is presented in English with Spanish supertitles and is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

Zoetic Stage and Adrienne Arsht Center Present, WICKED CHILD – World Premiere, by David Rosenberg and directed by Stuart Meltzer, Thursday, January 11th, 2024 - Sunday, January 28th, 2024.

When Ben leaves his lucrative associate’s job at a New York law firm to join The Israeli Defense Force, his secular Jewish family must reexamine its positions toward The State Of Israel and their Jewish identity. Originally workshopped at Zoetic Stage’s Finstrom Festival of New Work in 2022, WICKED CHILD is a play about whether political belief can destroy familial bonds and how much we owe to our community.

Zoetic Stage and Adrienne Arsht Center Present CABARET, a Book by Joe Masteroff, based on the Play by John Van Druten, and Stories by Christopher Isherwood. The Music was composed by John Kander with Lyrics by Fred Ebb and Directed by Stuart Meltzer. The performances will be held Thursday, March 14th, 2023 - Sunday, April 7th, 2024.

The Tony Award-Winner for Best Musical (1967) and Best Musical Revival (1998) returns to Miami with South Florida-based Actress Lindsey Corey starring as Sally Bowles. An audience favorite, Corey won a Carbonell Award for her role in Zoetic Stage’s Stripped, which was part of the Theater Up Close Series.

As the 1920’s draw to a close in Berlin, a garish master of ceremonies assures his audience that they will forget all their troubles at the Cabaret. With the emcee's bawdy songs as wry commentary, CABARET explores the dark, heady and tumultuous life of Berlin's natives and expatriates as Germany yields to the emerging Third Reich.

Cliff, a young American writer newly arrived in Berlin, is immediately taken with English Singer Sally Bowles. Meanwhile, Fräulein Schneider, proprietor of Cliff and Sally’s Boarding House, tentatively begins a romance with Herr Schultz, a mild-mannered fruit seller who happens to be Jewish. Musical numbers include "Willkommen," "Cabaret," "Don't Tell Mama" and "Two Ladies."

Zoetic Stage and Adrienne Arsht Center Present, CUBAN CHICKEN SOUP WHEN THERE’S NO MORE CAFÉ – World Premiere, by Elena Maria Garcia and Stuart Meltzer, Thursday, May 2nd, 2024 - Sunday, May 19th, 2024.

From the creators of megahit ¡FUÁCATA! A Latina's Guide to Surviving The Universe – which sold out twice at the Arsht Center when it premiered in 2017 and returned in 2018 - comes the next chapter in Elena's life as her world takes unexpected twists and turns. With everything upside down, Elena has the strength and wisdom of her mother, daughters and a slew of strong, vibrant and unapologetic Miami women to nurture her soul with Cuban Chicken Soup, sisterhood and lots of laughter.

All programs, artists, ticket prices, availability, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Additional fees may apply. For up-to-date information, visit:

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